Well Folks....as promised, here is Cat Muldoon & her novel, Rue the Day!
Excerpt from Rue the Day
By Cat Muldoon
The throbbing pain in her head was almost more than she could bear. She splashed cold water on her face, hoping to shake off the mental fogginess that so perfectly mirrored the weather. Fighting for calm, she took several deep breaths in an effort to calm herself and diminish the pain. Maybe this time the deep breathing would help.
Lynne’s breath caught. She felt the presence of someone standing behind her. Her heart pounded. She whirled around and sunk into a battle stance, ready to attack the intruder. Nobody was there. “I must be losing my mind.” She grabbed the counter to steady herself.
Bree purred--a real purr this time. Lynne released her grip on the counter. The grey cat slowly raised a snowy paw and stepped forward. Though Lynne’s anxiety remained, his behavior aroused her curiosity. She knelt beside her beloved friend. Bree’s long grey whiskers twitched as he took another step, this time with less hesitation. His purr grew louder as he tilted his head upward with an expression of bliss on his face, as if being scratched under the chin by an unseen hand.
Lynne had the strangest feeling someone was trying to comfort her. This only heightened her sense of alarm. Who could be trying to soothe me and my cat, and why? She feared for her cat’s safety and wanted him away from the mysterious presence. “Bree, no!” she yelled, but he stayed where he was and purred contentedly. Not knowing what else to do, she scooped Bree into her arms, grabbed her pack, and dashed through the door into the misty woods.
The feline tensed and squirmed in Lynne’s arms as she raced away from the hut. Bree squalled in protest and dug his back claws into Lynne’s stomach, but she held him close. Her footing faltered as she slipped in a mud puddle. Reflexively, her arms spread to catch her balance, and Bree dashed away. “Bree, BREE!” she yelled, pursuing him.
Lynne rebuked herself for fleeing into the fog like a frightened deer. Bree had lived his whole life indoors, and she had terrified him. Certainly, he would not come to her call. She let out a cry of anguish as she started searching for her companion. She rarely cried, but now hot tears rolled down her cheeks. She tried to make her voice calm as she called to Bree.
Maybe if I act like a normal person, he might come to me.
The only sound was her breathing. Her incessantly throbbing head made it difficult to focus and quiet her mind. She forced her breath to quiet as she walked more calmly, listening for him. Without noticing, she held her arms out to help guide her, since her eyes gave her no useful information in the milky mist. At one point, she felt a branch break beneath her foot. A few minutes later, it occurred to her that she had not heard the branch crack. Walking with purposeful disregard for the terrain, she did not even hear her shoes contacting the earth. Though an expert at moving quietly through the woods, the headlong dash through fog surely must have taken her through countless crunchy autumn leaves and fallen sticks. She could not see her feet, and could not imagine moving soundlessly in these conditions.
Experimentally, Lynne stomped her foot hard. She felt the impact through her leg, but heard no sound. She clapped twice and heard two dull thuds. She raised a hand before her face. All she saw was a vague shape. She shuddered. The temperature had surely risen; the fog should be lifting. The back of her neck prickled and her sense of danger increased.
“Bree, I’m not going home without you,” Lynne called. Her voice did not travel through the woods as it should have. Finally, weary and hoarse from hours of anxious searching and calling, Lynne slumped against an old tree and sank onto the ground. Bree might be lost forever, and it was all her fault. If only she had kept her wits and stayed to face whatever was happening at the hut, none of this would have happened.
Lynne shivered. Had the day grown so cold? She was no closer to locating her beloved companion. You’ll never find him sitting on your pity pot. She cautioned herself to stay centered and keep her wits. Be in the present moment.
Just then, a sense of imminent, mortal danger shocked her into action. She had to move now. Rolling to one side, she sprang to her feet, feeling dizzy and disoriented. Something made a dull thump as it hit the tree just where her head had been a moment ago. She moved with stealth behind the tree and slowly rounded it, looking in every direction for the mysterious projectile, but could find nothing in the dense fog, either with her eyes or with her hands. She leaned against the tree and took in deep but shaky drafts of the chilly air, grateful that her instinct, sharpened by numerous dangerous encounters, had just saved her from death again.
Looking, listening and feeling all around the area, Lynne no longer felt immediate danger. Since the feeling of impending doom had passed and not returned, her desire to find Bree and go home eclipsed her desire to know what had just hit the tree. Resuming her hunt, she methodically placed one foot before another and called Bree’s name every few steps. Although Lynne had no idea in which direction to look for him, she would search until they reunited. She had to find Bree. The fog had to lift eventually. Perhaps her love for the cat or some inner guidance might come to her aid.
How long had she been wandering? Several hours, probably, but it did not matter. She continued to trudge and call and listen. She heard a rustle and maybe a sound. She stopped. Had she heard a meow? She waited. No, it must have been wishful thinking. With a sigh, she continued.
“Bree!” Yes, it was definitely Bree’s voice just ahead of her. She looked up to where his call had come. Just then, she saw the thick fog thin from pea soup to taffeta veil. Now she was able to see for several feet around her. Bree perched on a branch at shoulder height. “Oh, Bree, I am so glad to finally find you.” She reached for the cat. Bree jumped off the branch, dashed several feet, and turned to look at her.
“Bree, come on. Let’s go home,” Lynne cajoled. She was almost in reach when the cat again dashed ahead a few paces. Lynne kept curses and harsh words to herself as she advanced.
The cat, to her annoyance, continued his antics several more times, letting her get almost close enough to catch him before sprinting. “Oh, Bree, please don’t do this to me,” the woman said quietly. She wanted to wail in frustration, but had no more energy for outbursts.
At long last, Bree sat motionless, facing Lynne as she approached. He wound his steel grey tail around his white paws and sat like an elegant statue. His eyes gazed directly into hers. She knelt to pick him up. “I love you, Bree,” She cooed.
It was then that Lynne noticed the soft leather boots behind her cat. She rose, Bree purring in her arms, to see the wearer of the boots smiling at her. Lynne’s jaw dropped. She had seen this man before, though they had never spoken or met. This rugged, well-proportioned man wearing linen clothes, a wool cloak, and laced boots, had recently appeared for brief moments, a silent observer in her dreams. She closed her gaping mouth and tried to think what she should say or do next.
The man’s smiling green eyes resembled her own. “Greetings, Aislinn,” he said warmly, his smile broadening.
Rue the Day: The Undercover heir, Book 1
Publisher: Wings Press
Publication Date: May, 2007
Link to read more excerpts!
For more information on Cat Muldoon and her books, visit her Website, MySpace or email her at:Cat@CatMuldoon.com
I'd like to thank Cat for stopping by today....watch later this month when I'll be hosting another author on tour (you'll have to check back to see who it is LOL!)
Until later...may the fire of Christ illuminate your life!
Book 3 in 5-Part series...available now in Ebook & Print!
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!"